Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Data Protection Act

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hornsea, East Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,877
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 39 Times in 38 Posts

    Default Data Protection Act

    Hi All

    There have recently beeen a number of discussions about TNA and AHB stating that they will not be able to supply copies of certain documents due to the restrictions of the above.

    I have just read the introduction to the Act for another purpose and noted the following definition: -

    “personal data” means data which relate to a living individual

    To me this means that a lot of the information we are interested in is not covered by this Act.

    Any other thoughts?

    Malcolm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,663
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 17 Times in 17 Posts

    Default

    Malcolm,
    The DPA is the first line of defence for Organisations and/or Govt Depts when they either do not wish to disclose, or do not have the staff/facilities to do the work, or couldn't care less. The next line of defence is FOI. Both need to be challenged. But then the Org/Dept will delay and obfuscate for as long as possible. You and I are "poachers". I spent part of my formal career helping the "gamekeepers". I know what goes on!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hornsea, East Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,877
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 39 Times in 38 Posts

    Default

    Hi Peter

    Valid point.

    Malcolm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,645
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    During the consultation about the transfer of the service records held by the MOD to Kew the MOD stated:

    http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/C58C6252-8109-4D55-A8B1-1AAFA6F4BAC2/0/transfer_records_tna.pdf

    "The service records....potentially contain data which is subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA98) and related legislation, including the Human Rights Act 1998 which incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into English law. DPA98 applies to all living individuals and covers all personal data. But information about the deceased which is made publicly available can impact on living members of the deceased’s family and might, if released, be in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right for respect of private and family life). Although not an exhaustive list, data which may fall into this latter category includes information about the deceased’s physical or mental health, sexual activity and whether they have committed or been accused of committing an offence."

    The good news is that the consultation resulted in the MOD accepting that files should be transferred to Kew and then released. The bad news is that:

    1) this will take quite a while
    2) recent discussions about the cutbacks at Kew probably means that even info that should be released probably won't be unless one can visit in person

    And by principle, Kew seems to err on the side of caution - using the 100 year rule just to be on the safe side, until challenged.

    A

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,663
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 17 Times in 17 Posts

    Default

    Amrit,
    Exactly what I was talking about. MoD want to reduce the costs of answering questions so they invoke all sorts of smoke-screens. Then they hit on the clever ploy of transferring the Records to TNA. So what do TNA do? They cut staff!!
    The Files referring to the sinking of HMT Lancastria were decreed (by Churchill, I think) to be Closed for 100 years. Why? Answer; to save Govt embarrassment! What Law were they Closed under? It's 70-odd years since the Lancastria disaster. Time enough for the panic of that event (and many others in WW2) to have subsided. But are the "Sir Humphrey's" still intent on denying historians access to the facts? Answer - Yes!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    1,317
    Thanks
    19
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Default

    Sir Humphrey - and the Sir Humphreys of this world - have a lot to answer for!

    I also find it odd the way rules differ from country to country. In Canada, personnel files are open if the man in question has been deceased for a specific period, and in Australia all WWII personnel files are open to the public regardless (though examined before release for the type of sensative information referred to by Amrit), so why do we have no access whatsoever here in the UK?! Frustrating...!

    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    115
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amrit View Post
    2) recent discussions about the cutbacks at Kew probably means that even info that should be released probably won't be unless one can visit in person
    I may well be wrong here, but I suspect that some service records have already been scanned/digitised. In the case of my grandfather, I received four pages of A3 - his NCO service record F543 appears to be a printed image rather than photocopied - it is in colour and includes a number and bar-code on a TNT sticker. His Officer's Service Record F1406 is a simple black-and-white photocopy.

    I would hazard a guess that at least some service records would be made available via Documents Online.

    Regards,

    Jeff

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •